Carrying a Torch — Ours!

The Library of Congress (top right) overlooks its National Book Festival, which returns to the National Mall Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22

With the Library of Congress National Book Festival just days away (it’s a week from this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, free of charge on the National Mall) we have a lot to share in addition to more than 100 best-selling authors for readers of all ages.  One of the great stops at this year’s festival will be the Library of Congress Pavilion.

This year the pavilion will be more packed than ever before with a huge variety of offerings from the Library – it’s your opportunity to sample our “universe under the dome with the torch of knowledge on top,” appetizer-style.  The Library of Congress, despite its name, is also your Library, and anyone over the age of 16 can get a reader card and use our reading rooms to do research within our vast collections; we also have a Young Readers Center for children and teens to visit, and several museum-style exhibitions, such as our ongoing blockbuster, “The Civil War in America.” All of this comes to you free of charge from the largest library in the world.

This year at the National Book Festival’s Library of Congress Pavilion, we will have tables featuring curators and other staff from a wide variety of Library divisions; we will also have two theaters where curators and other Library leaders will give brief presentations about their areas of expertise.  Both Saturday and Sunday, these leaders will give fascinating talks about topics ranging from Copyright and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (both of them part of the Library of Congress) to genealogy, preservation, educational outreach, the aforementioned Young Readers Center, the Law Library of Congress, the Prints & Photographs Division, the Recorded Sound Collections, numerous collections based on regions of the world, the World Digital Library, and the Music Division.  Signs with times will be posted, and times will be in the official program as well, or you can view the schedule here.

There will be talks by curators from our Civil War exhibition and the Geography & Map Division; the Veterans History Project; and the project that preserves old newspapers from all over the country for digital perusal.

The Library of Congress Pavilion also will hold a display on “Books That Shaped the World,” which will offer you the chance to vote via survey to nominate a book you believe shaped the world or jot its title on our giant whiteboard.  Come be heard!

And one more thing – for those of you who’ve wanted to go home with a National Book Festival T-shirt – we will be offering T-shirts in designs for adults and kids at a special sales tent across the street north of the grounds, in front of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  It’s near the book-signing area – come check it out.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22 from noon to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall, between 9th and 14th Streets.  Don’t miss it!

 

Pic of the Week: Country Crooners

The Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium turned Grand Ole Opry for a night last Wednesday, as members of the Country Music Association (CMA) took to the stage to sing their hits. Bob DiPiero returned to host the latest installment of the CMA Songwriters Series, which this time featured Ronnie Milsap, Loretta Lynn “Lorrie” Morgan and […]

Pic of the Week: Hula Hula

When I was a kid, my dad went to Hawaii for work and brought back grass skirts and shell necklaces for me and my sister. I can remember prancing about the house mimicking what I thought at the time was a hula dance, likely influenced by watching too much “Fantasy Island.” According to the International […]

Pics of the Week: I Love the 80s

On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual event “We Write the Songs,” a night of songwriters performing their own tunes and telling the stories behind their creations. And, some of the performers were a throwback to my fondest memories growing up in the 1980s. […]

Pics of the Week: Bacharach and David Honored with Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress rolled out the red carpet on Tuesday to honor Burt Bacharach and Hal David with the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive collection resides in the Library of Congress. The all-star tribute concert featured […]

The National Book Festival – Be There, Sept. 22-23

Heads up, all you fans of the Library of Congress National Book Festival – it’s going to be two days again this year, with more than 100 authors, following last year’s successful launch of the full-weekend approach. The festival will be held on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets on Saturday, Sept. 22, […]